‘Rock’ Fest at White Point will celebrate Winter Beach!
Published by Saltwire, written by Heather Clarke
White Point Beach Resort is known for its kilometre-long white sand shoreline, but not many guests realize something happens to that sand during the winter months: it disappears.
Since White Point is right on the Atlantic Ocean with plenty of high-energy waves and tidal storm action during the winter, the waves wash more than five feet of sand away — exposing cobblestones and tossing them onto the beach like an enormous rock tumbler. When the longshore currents and low-energy waves return, the sand gets washed back in for the warm summer months.
Darlene Norman, recreation and special events manager at White Point Beach Resort, says guests who’ve only visited White Point for summer vacations are shocked to learn that the sand is replaced by a rocky cobblestone beach each winter.
“It’s like Mother Nature gives our beach a ‘facial,’” says Norman. “It just takes six months to complete! It’s quite spectacular.”
But for people who love rocks — like Norman — this is an exciting change to look forward to each winter.
“While we miss the large sweep of summer sand, the winter months enable us to travel the world — and through millions of years — without leaving White Point, Nova Scotia,” says Norman. “Our province is so diverse when it comes to rocks. We have so many beautiful varieties and they tell us the history of the world.”
While the resort has organized rock-based activities in the past, they’re hosting a full weekend devoted to all things rock-y — White Point’s Rock Fest — from Friday, Jan. 24 through Sunday, Jan. 26.
To celebrate, White Point Beach Resort is bringing in “rock stars” like the husband-and-wife geologist team of Bob and Martha Grantham.
On Saturday afternoon, Bob and Martha will be leading a talk on the basics of local rocks and minerals, including the fascinating stories about the area’s geology. Then everyone will bundle up for a “rock and roll” walk exploring the shoreline and meeting some of the local rocks.
“Nova Scotia has quite a varied geological history dating back 1.2 billion years. Dinosaurs, mastodons, you name it,” says Bob, who is the retired founding executive director of the $14M Johnson GEO CENTRE in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.
“Every rock you pick up has a story to tell you, so come out and befriend a rock.”
On Saturday evening, Bob and Martha will take guests on a “geological globe-trotting” tour around the world based on Nova Scotia’s rock formations. They’ll also be passing out pebble guides that guests can use to help identify rocks anywhere they go.
Martha is also a biologist and says rocks don’t always grab people’s attention as quickly as, say, a cuddly animal. But once you know what to look for — and “stop taking rocks for granite” — she says rocks can unlock fascinating stories about the world around you.
“It’s all about making geology more accessible for people,” says Martha, who is currently the president of the Atlantic Geoscience Society (AGS).
White Point’s Rock Fest weekend will also include a rock-themed art exhibit with everything from paintings and photographs to mixed media pieces and carvings.
Watercolour artist Dennis Curran from nearby Cherry Hill will be leading a painting class on Sunday afternoon. All supplies will be provided, and he’ll guide guests through creating their own version of his “Point of Light” painting. The 19+ event also includes munchies to nibble and local craft beer from Boxing Rock beer to sip while you paint.
PHOTO CAPTION: Dennis Curran’s “Point of Light” watercolour painting
PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed
White Point’s new chef, Chef Jay, is planning to “rock” everyone’s socks off with special rock-themed menu and treats for the weekend.
Norman says the weekend is attracting the interest of people who already enjoy rocks and geology, but she also expects to see plenty of newbies who haven’t thought much about rocks and simply want to join in the fun.
Guests will spend hours strolling along the rocky beach looking for special rocks, like heart-shaped rocks, rocks with holes and rocks with bands that go all the way around — which are considered to be lucky rocks.
Norman says sometimes guests will paint directly on a rock and leave it behind for another guest to find, and others will attempt to stack up the round and wobbly cobblestones to build inukshuks. In fact, she hopes to see plenty of them on the cobblestone beach this winter.
“Wouldn’t it be great to have dozens of inukshuks created by guests over this weekend, all looking out to sea? It would be an impressive natural ‘art’ show.”
Don’t take it for ‘granite’! To learn more about White Point’s Rock Fest, visit whitepoint.com/events/white-points-rock-fest/ or call 1-800-565-5068.